Hawai`i's Third Active Volcano
Photograph by J. Kauahikaua on December 30, 1996.
Hualalai is the third youngest and third-most historically active volcano on the Island of Hawai`i. Six different vents erupted lava between the late 1700s and 1801, two of which generated lava flows that poured into the sea on the west coast of the island. The Keahole Airport, located only 11 km north of Kailua-Kona, is built atop the larger flow.
Though Hualalai is not nearly as active as Mauna Loa or Kilauea, our recent geologic mapping of the volcano shows that 80 percent of Hualalai's surface has been covered by lava flows in the past 5,000 years. In the past few decades, when most of the resorts, homes, and commercial buildings were built on the flanks of Hualalai, earthquake activity beneath the volcano has been low. In 1929, however, an intense swarm of earthquakes lasting more than a month was most likely caused by magma rising to near the surface. For these reasons, Hualalai is considered a potentially dangerous volcano that is likely to erupt again in the next 100 years.
Island of Hawai`i
19.69 N 155.87 W
Elev. Above Sea Level
(7.2% of Hawaii)
Most Recent Eruption(s)
1800 and 1801 A.D.
Number of Historical Eruptions (since 1790 A.D.)
One, possibly two (six different vents active)
Oldest Dated Rocks
About 128,000 years before present
Estimated Age of Hualalai
Apparently grew above sea level before 300,000 years ago
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18 June, 2001 (pnf)